Everything in Creation is made up of combinations of the 4 root elements - earth, wind, fire and water.
This includes the characteristics of mankind:
- earth - indolence and depression
- wind - idle and hurtful speech
- fire - arrogance and anger
- water - pleasure seeking
Mankind's mission is to rectify, refine and elevate these characteristics by reconnecting them to their source on high - the Four Lettered Name of Hashem (YKVK).
By doing so, ones eyes are truly opened to inner-introspection and one is able to see how one is holding in these characteristics and how to fix them.
However, it is not so easy to obtain clear vision in this world, since this whole world is a major concealment (the Hebrew word for world - OLAM - is etymologically similar to the word for concealment - HA'ALAMAH).
What one needs is an eye-opener - something that will give a person this "spiritual vision" and clarity to see where they are holding in life and how to advance and rectify these characteristics.
This eye-opener - Rebbe Nachman teaches - are the true tzadikim. By "looking" at the tzaddikim, a person's eyes are opened so that he can truly see.
This is hinted to in the verse (Isaiah 30:20): "... and your eyes will see your teacher". The Hebrew words in this verse - ע'יניך ר'ואות א'ת מ'וריך - A'eynekha R'owot E't M'orekha, share the same first letters as the 4 elements, earth, wind, fire and water - E'ish R'uach A'far M'ayim.
This shows that by looking at the tzaddikim, one activates the process of spiritual vision and ability to rectify the characteristics rooted in these four elements.
Since Hashem's Holy Name is to be found in the name of the tzaddikim (as our Sages teach: Hashem's name is joined with our name), it goes to say that looking at the tzaddikim activates one's eyes to be connected to Hashem's Holy 4-Lettered Name and thus lead to the rectification and refinement of all bad characteristics found in the 4 elements.
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Now, not every person has ready access to such a tzaddik, and the majority of people don't even know where to begin to look to find him.
So, Hashem in His kindness and love for Israel, has given us this golden opportunity to connect to these tzaddikim and to Hashem's Name Himself - through the 4 species.
The Holy Zohar teaches that the 4 species are rooted in the 4 letters of Hashem's Name.
By holding and shaking the 4 species we are actually reconnecting them and us to Hashem's Name through the symbol that they represent. For this reason Torah law states that one must hold the 4 species close to their roots, and if one holds them upside down one must do the mitzvah again:
- Hadas/Myrtle - the first letter Yod, the sweet and pleasant smell corresponds to rectifying pleasure seeking
- Aravah/Willow - the second letter Heh, the reddish branch color corresponds to rectifying arrogance and anger (also identified as red)
- Lulav/Palm Branch - the third letter Vav, the strait and closed middle 2 branches corresponds to rectifying idle and hurtful speech (closing ones 2 lips/mouth)
- Etrog/Ritual Citron - the last Heh, being pleasant and complete in appearance, smell and taste, corresponds rectifying indolence and depression (these 3 points of the etrog arouse, excite and bring joy to a person)
However the tzaddik is needed in order for little us to properly and in a balanced format activate this to happen.
Thus, the Lulav attached to the Hadas, Aravah and Etrog give the appearance of a quill with the 3 fingers holding it.
By extending this quill and fingers in all directions, we are showing that we believe in the books and teachings of the tzaddikim (written by hand and with a "quill"), and by learning, teaching and spreading their teachings we enable us and others to "look" at the tzaddikim (see Likutey Moharan lesson 192 that the face of a tzaddik is embedded in the letter combinations of his books/teachings).
As a result, we merit to activate and fix and refine the characteristics of the 4 elements.
May we merit this Sukkot holiday to find and seek the tzaddikim who will help us to properly, truly and honestly see ourselves - who and what we really are - so that we may reconnect to Hashem and rectify everything in life that needs to be rectified, Amen.
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A PERSONAL REQUEST:
To help and send immediate support to a needy family in desperate need of the Holiday necessities, please follow this paypal link:
Please also submit your full name and mother's name so that we can add it to our davening list to be mentioned at the holy cites and graves of tzaddikim here in the Holy Land.
Sincerely and with blessings for a powerful and uplifting Sukkot joy and experience.